Archive for the ‘f49v’ Category

Ink density and glyph order

July 31, 2012 4 comments

When using an ink pot and an old fashioned nib, one has to dip the nib in to the pot from time to time to replenish the ink. When the nib has just been dipped, the first few letters or so written often have more ink to them, as there is plenty on the nib.

If one were writing a string of identical letters, the frequency at which one has to re-dip the nib as it runs out of ink should be approximately constant. For example, if I’m writing “ooooooooooooo” then perhaps the nib holds enough ink for 5 “o”s before it needs replenishment. Then the appearance on the paper might be:


and so on.

On most folios of the VMs it’s apparent that some of the glyphs have been inked more heavily than others. Some possible explanations are:

  1. the nib has been refilled with ink just prior to these glyphs being written
  2. these glyphs have been re-inked for some reason
  3. these glyphs have been written at a different time with a different nib or ink or both

Here is a nice example of this feature


If the glyphs we see were written from the top down, from left to right, then the heavily inked glyphs are not spaced apart in the way expected by possibility 1 above.

One conclusion is that the glyphs we see were not written top down left to right, but in some other order.

Also, the glyphs that tend to be heavily inked are a subset of all the glyphs. “8” is very commonly heavily inked, but not always, even on the same folio. One of the gallows glyphs is also often heavily inked, but only on one side. Another is GC “1” and the downstroke on GC “y”.

(An interesting feature on this folio is the compound gallows that appears to have been constructed by first writing the standard gallows, then adding a line between each “c” that straddles it. Or perhaps the “c”s were written first, then the gallows was written and the “c”s joined later?)

Categories: f49v, Features, gallows Tags: , ,

Sequences (a Work In Progress)

April 18, 2012 7 comments

I’ve been collecting together all the occurrences of what look like sequences in the VMs, to see if there are any obvious patterns. Here is what I have so far:

Places in the VMs where sequences occur, colour coded for some common glyphs, and (mostly) split at glyph "o"